Southwestern Deserts

March, 2006
Regional Report

Shows & Events

Spring Plant Sale
The University of California Riverside Botanic Gardens spring plant sale offers landscape trees and shrubs, flowering perennials, vines, shade plants, herbs, cacti and succulents, house and patio plants, miniature roses, orchids, and wildflower seeds. Scope out rare and hard-to-find plants, old fashioned favorites, and water-thrifty, heat-tolerant plants for no-fuss gardening. Staff and Master Gardeners will answer questions.

The preview sale for members is Saturday, April 1, 9 a.m. to noon. Open to the public from noon to 5 p.m. and Sunday, April 2 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. $1 suggested donation. The Web site (http://www.gardens.ucr.edu/) contains a plant availability list and a coupon for a free pack of wildflower seeds.

Favorite or New Plant

Texas Mountain Laurel 'Silver Peso'
The scent of grape bubble gum or kool-aid surrounds Sophora secundiflora 'Silver Peso' in spring when its wisteria-like purple flowers bloom. Very similar to the species except 'Silver Peso' features brilliant silver foliage and a deeper purple flower color. The contrast between the two is striking.

This tough, thornless, drought-tolerant evergreen plant takes full sun. It drops very little litter, although its seeds are poisonous. It can be trained as a large shrub or small tree with a mature size of 15 feet wide and tall.

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